Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Week in Raw Vegan Eating

This past week was good. I'm still participating in the ROCK*STARS Nation Challenge on Facebook and having a blast. The participating ROCK*STARS have been motivating, inspiring and encouraging. I fully expect the movement to continue beyond the challenge end date of August 4th. 

My ROCK*STAR moment of the week happened on Thursday at Crossfit. I completed 2 yes, TWO, WODS (workout of the day)! Usually I can barely drag myself out of the box (i.e. Crossfit location) but on Thursday I was full of energy! In fact, once I did get home, I headed out right back out again with Derek on a walk. Instead of just walking we ran sprints. Talk about feeling alive! I pushed myself and I was so much faster than I thought I would be. I'm not talking Usain Bolt fast but Kareen fast :)

I'm still plugging away with my daily morning push-ups, squats and daily devotional reading. My challenge has been getting to bed on time. As the week progresses, it gets more and more difficult to get to bed by 9:00 pm. Some of the delay has to do with food prep. 

I have been loving eating a high raw diet and my IBS has been responding well. If you're thinking of incorporating more raw whole foods into your diet understand that there is some prep work involved. Prepping lettuce for a salad plus any condiments (cukes, rads, scallions, etc) can take about 15 to 20 minutes. Not bad on a weekend but during the week when you've only got 60 minutes from the time you get home before heading to bed, it can be tight which is why I usually end up in bed between 9:30 and 10:00. I am not going to deviate from this path so I'm going to tweak the process this week to be more efficient.

Here are a few pics from this week in raw vegan eating. It's not complicated but it is delicious!

Grapes, blueberries and strawberries
Bananas, grapes and mangoes with fresh lime juice
VERY filling salad with cabbage, avocado and scallions. Added chipotle chili pepper for a kick and balsamic vinegar as the dressing.
Raw parfait: blended frozen bananas (replaces vanilla pudding) layered with blueberries and strawberries. Delish!
Mango, ginger, pineapple and lime juice smoothie
The final product - sooo yummy!
Start of green smoothie with spinach, strawberries, pineapples, ginger and fresh lime juice
Not necessarily the prettiest colour but certainly great tasting!

That's my week in food! I have a couple of recipes to try in the coming days and I look forward to sharing them with you.

What was your ROCK*STAR moment this past week?

- Kareen, RD

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Prep - Food Haul!

I'm happy to report that I am feeling much better today than a couple of days ago! Hooray!

The morning started with 20 body squats and five push-ups and then a 1.4 mile walk with Derek. This morning's walk was dedicated to the fight against Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). SMA is the number one genetic killer of young children. This past Saturday in New Market, Ontario, Canada was the annual Rebecca Run for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and in addition there was a virtual run/walk/job/lift/dance held on Facebook. Basically move for those who cannot. All the participants wore bright blue in memory of Emersyn, a baby who lost her life to SMA at seven months of age. Both the actual and virtual events were a success. I couldn't participate yesterday because I was still under the weather but I was excited to get outdoors this morning - it was the least I could do and I plan to do more.

Here's a pic of me in my Emersyn blue

For more information on SMA, please check out the following video.

Onto the rest of the day's activities. We headed out to the grocery store earlier than usual. I usually procrastinate so I was happy that we were done by 12:30! I love Trader Joe's but for fresh produce, our local Henry's is my go-to. 

And I loaded up for the week. At least I hope it lasts for a week!

Here are the goods.

I've got two heads of green leaf lettuce and one head of red leaf; two banana bunches; a box of spinach; a cucumber; some frozen fruit; a lot of avocado and mango; some fresh fruit (on sale!); onions; spaghetti squash; sweet potatoes; and raw cashews. I cannot wait to dig in!

Back to preppin'! What's your food plan look like this week?

- Kareen, RD

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Week 1 Update - 30 Day Make July Your Best.Month.of.2011.YET Challenge

At the end of the first week I remain motivated which is a good thing. Looking back at the goals I set, I specifically did not select weight. I'm not sure what's happening with my ability to shed pounds right now but I'm working on being happy with progress in other areas. Weight loss will happen and until it does, I'm going to work on pushing myself fitness-wise.

I was sidelined yesterday and today by. . . something. I won't go into details but let's just say I couldn't be too far away from the bathroom. Not sure what we picked-up but my husband did not experience it to the same extent I did.

Before the above event, the week was going well. 

1. I went to Crossfit twice due to the short week. I accomplished my first ever double under!
Here's a demo of a double under. I actually used Danielle's technique and it works!
2. I completed five regular push-ups and 20 body squats each morning - even Friday morning. The push-ups are coming along well and I may increase the number to 10!
3. I lifted the 36 lb kettlebell 2x this week, once each time. I'm going to have to work up to that beast!

I had one slice of cheese each on Thursday and Friday. Definitely not 100% vegan but MUCH better than the week before. I was about 85% raw. Because I was sidelined, I was not able to get my grocery shopping as planned. Tomorrow I will be out and about getting my supplies. I spent the day watching Youtube raw recipe vids and I'm super excited to get the week started!

I started reading Ellen G White's Acts of the Apostles. I've started each day reading a couple of pages and it's been a great way to wake up! I am working on getting to bed by 9:00p and that will continue to be a work in progress.

Did you put your action plan into action this past week? 

- Kareen, RD

Monday, July 4, 2011

30 Day Make July Your Best.Month.of.2011.YET Challenge

I'm participating in a Facebook one month challenge that will end August 4th. It's being run by a great and inspiring woman so I couldn't help but join! We had to choose one physical, nutritional and spiritual goal to work on in July and then list five action plans for each of those areas. 

Here's the 'entry' that I also posted on Facebook but I will be tracking my progress here weekly. Here are my goals and action plans for July.

My best month yet will see me being physically active ; eating for healthy and strong body; and placing God first!

2. DECIDE! (aka goals)
a) Physical: Complete 30 reps of 36 lb kettlebell throws in Crossfit
b) Nutrition Goal: Vegan with at least two raw meals daily
c) Spiritual Goal: Spend time in prayer first thing in the morning everyday

3. COMMIT! (aka action plans)
a) Physical: 
- Complete Crossfit WOD 4x/week
- Complete 5 regular push-ups each morning 
- Complete 20 body weight squats each morning
- Practice lifting 36 lb'er 2x/week
- Get to bed by 9:00p

b) Nutrition:
- Plan weekly meals every Thursday (using raw uncookbooks for inspiration)
- Grocery shop for the week every Friday 
- Prep meals + snacks every Sunday 
- Bring lunch + snacks to work daily
- Make a green smoothie for breakfast daily
- Get to bed by 9:00p

c) Spiritual:
- Select a book of morning readings
- Set alarm to 4:30a
- Get to bed by 9:00p

Feel free to join in! You've already told me what your goals are for July. How are you going to get there?

- Kareen, RD

Sunday, July 3, 2011

"Good Experiences Build Motivation . . .

. . . and motivation leads to habit." Those are my husband's words after our day today and I agree! What we planned as a regular day turned into a RAW delight.

We started off the day heading to Santa Barbara but after three detours and 2.5 hours with more to go, SoCal traffic finally got the better of us.

Check out the traffic to the left
One of our detours did lead us to a fruit truck that I couldn't pass up. 

The good thing was that we weren't on a schedule so Derek pulled over. We didn't have much cash on hand so only mangoes won out.

Cannot wait to dig in!
We called 'uncle' shortly after this stop and decided to venture into Santa Monica. We've been there before and always enjoy the city. Santa Monica was hopping but the traffic was bearable. Here's a quick shot of the beach.

I have been wanting to try a RAW restaurant and settled on Planet Raw. While walking there we also stumbled upon Real Food Daily. That restaurant will have to wait for another day.
Snapped this pic from the car on our way out of town
Onto our Planet Raw experience. Here we are!

The menu included some great basics on RAW living
Derek was eager to try a beverage and settled on the Chai Shake. I was in the mood for a green juice but there wasn't one on the menu. Instead, I opted for Blood.

Can you say "yum!!"?
The Chai Shake was creamy and spicy. It included cashews, a homemade chai spice mix, ice and water. You could eat it with a spoon and Derek did just that (he loved his choice!). My Blood juice included Fuji apples, lime, ginger and beets. Very refreshing and light with only a hint of beets. The ginger is the star of this drink. I would recommend trying both of these beverages.

For an entree, I selected the Green Curry Pasta, a Thai inspired dish. Derek had the Pasta Fresca, similar to Fettuccine Alfredo with extra garlic. Both dishes were accompanied by green salads with a garlic ranch dressing (I think). Again, we were happy with both dishes. Derek especially with the extra garlic kick :)

Pasta Fresca
Green Curry Pasta
All together now. . .yum!

Here I am enjoying RAW fare
Derek has been hesitant trying raw dishes so I was a little apprehensive but this experience was, in his own words, motivating. He explained that he didn't want to be boxed in by a label - raw foodist. Fortunately, that's not my goal! I'm looking forward to embracing food in its natural form. I'm not about labels either.

He's on board with moving towards a high raw diet with me and that is wonderful! He's my partner in everything so I'm happy to have him join me on this journey. 

Before we left the restaurant we picked up Chef Juliano's uncook book.

We can't wait to try the Chai Shake which we are sure will make an excellent breakfast dish.

We left Santa Monica motivated to continue our journey into health and to build habits. What more can you ask from a Sunday?

Happy 4th of July!

- Kareen, RD

Friday, July 1, 2011

One Month of Crossfit

I wasn't sure I was going to make it but I did. One month down and I even signed up for ANOTHER month! It doesn't hurt that one of my co-workers now friend also took the challenge with me. She gets us there and then I keep us going once we get there. It's a perfect mix! Fortunately she's signed up for the next month, too.

Earlier this week I was discouraged. No weight loss, my cardiovascular system sucks, and every WOD is kicking my butt. I'll admit, I thought about quitting and heading back to the traditional gym. Fortunately my husband had some words of encouragement that got me back on track.

I remembered that while weight loss is important to me, so is mastering the Crossfit skills! I have some ways to go but.  .  .

1. I'm a strong woman! (I talk about that here)
2. My burpees are better! I did them on the pavement without one scratch!
3. I graduated from the 16" box to the 20" one for box jumps!
4. I did 20 assisted ring dips! The first time I did these, it was a workout just to get on the rings with the band and I was only able to muster one dip.
5. I graduated from jumping pull-ups to pull-ups with a band. I did three!
6. I graduated from the 8 lb medicine ball to the 14 lb'er!
7. I did 100 back extensions and 100 sit-ups in between a 2 mile run!
8. And even though I'm a slow runner, I am running and I finished 2.5 miles in between swinging an 18 lb kettlebell.
9. I didn't gain weight!
10. I didn't give up!

I know there's more; I just wanted to take a minute to acknowledge progress. Sometimes while looking at the bigger picture, I lose the trees. Looking at the list above, I'm motivated!

For July, my goal is to continue to work on my running speed, graduate to the 36 lb kettlebell and to increase the band resistance I use for pull-ups.

What progress did you make in June? What are your goals for July?

- Kareen, RD